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Prime Minister Ariel Sharon wants to try to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to drop his plan to turn the Quartet's road map for a performance-based peace process in the Middle East into a UN Security Council Resolution for a peace in the Middle East.

Israel is vehemently opposed to the road map being moved to the Security Council because, it says, that would harm the chances for implementing it, and obstruct negotiations in the future.

Russia has proposed the Security Council pass a resolution adopting the road map as the council's proposal for a Middle East peace process. Israel objected to the road map and only accepted it in principle after the government pegged 14 "reservations" on it that essentially placed the entire onus for getting it started on the Palestinian Authority warring against armed Palestinian factions. Putin's idea is for the Security Council to grant the Quartet an official status.

Sharon heads to Russia on Sunday for the third time since becoming prime minister. During the three-day trip, he will discuss developments in Iran, including Russia's involvement in Tehran's nuclear program. Sharon will exchange views with Putin on Tehran's recent announcement that it was freezing its uranium enrichment program and broadening international monitoring of the nuclear program.

Sharon will also meet with theRussian prime minister and defense and foreign ministers .

He is to be accompanied by Absorption Minister Tzipi Livne and Russia-born Transportation Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who heads the Israel-Russia Economic Council.